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Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Advanced Search

Combined Degree and Physician Scholar Programs

MD/Master of Public Health

NOTE: Funding opportunities exist for students interested in this dual degree. See below under Scholarships for more information.

Overview

The MD/Master of Public Health (MD/MPH) program is designed for Perelman medical students interested in studying medicine with a special focus on population or community health. The goal of the program is to provide strong interdisciplinary training to individuals with a variety of career interests including: clinical practice, disease prevention, health behavior, health education, research, implementation science, and policy making. The information on this website describes the admissions process, curriculum, advising, and financial policy for the MD/MPH program.

Please note that these guidelines apply only to Perelman medical students. If you are a medical student at another institution, you may apply for the MPH program directly, but the admissions, curriculum and financial information listed here will not apply. Medical students from other institutions will typically need two years of full time study to complete the MPH program, and will be asked to provide verification that their medical school has granted a two year leave of absence to complete the program.

The rest of this site includes the following sections:

Information Gathering

The first step of the process is to gather information regarding the MD/MPH dual degree. Interested students have several resources:

  • MPH website (http://www.publichealth.med.upenn.edu) - the Master of Public Health program website provides detailed information on the program and application process. 2009 MD/MPH Info Session
  • MD/MPH Information Session - every fall the Combined Degree office holds an MD/MPH Information Session for medical students. Email announcements are sent out to students prior to the event. Check out the Powerpoint presentation that was given at our 2013 Information Session.
  • Contacts
    • Dr. Rosemary Frasso - candidates are encouraged to contact Rosemary, Director of Education for the MPH Program, at rofrasso@mail.med.upenn.edu to discuss the Master of Public Health program.
    • Amy Nothelfer - students are encouraged to contact Amy, Coordinator of MD-Masters Programs, at nothelfe@mail.med.upenn.edu to discuss their interest in a Masters program.
  • Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM) Office of Admissions and Financial Aid - As soon as a student is considering the pursuit of an integrated dual degree program, financial aid counseling and planning is strongly advised.
  • Additional Public Health resources on Penn’s campus:

Advising

Perelman medical students who are interested in applying for the MD/MPH program are encouraged to contact Dr. Rosemary Frasso, the MPH Director of Education. Once accepted into the MD/MPH program, students meet with Dr. Frasso to develop a curriculum plan. As needed, she will also refer students to members of the MD/MPH faculty, including Giang Nguyen, MD, MPH, Chair, MD/MPH Advisory Committee, who are available to provide career guidance, advice, and counseling.

After a curriculum plan is developed, the student must notify Helene Weinberg, Registrar for the PSOM, of his/her intention to pursue the MD/MPH.

Students should also meet with a staff member in the PSOM Office of Admissions and Financial Aid to discuss financial issues. (See tuition policy below.)

Curriculum & Program Structure

Program Requirements:

The following course units are required for the MPH degree :

  • 9 required core course units (one of which is an MD curriculum transfer credit*)
  • 5 Electives

Required Course Units:               14

* Perelman medical students who are matriculated in the MD/MPH program will earn one transfer credit for MOD320 Health Care Systems in the MD curriculum in place of PUBH 505.

Students can choose to focus their electives in global health, environmental health or other areas.

Timing:

Perelman medical students interested in the MPH program are encouraged to utilize the PSOM Additional Course Policy to take up to three MPH courses during their first three semesters of medical school. Students will need to take each course for a grade (i.e. not pass/fail) for it to count toward the MD/MPH. However, students should note that if they do not take MPH classes in the first three semesters, we will work with them to create a plan of study that would allow them to complete the MD/MPH in 5 years.

Completion of the two degrees separately would require six years, but the MD/MPH can be completed in five years as long as students apply for admission by November 1 of their third year of the MD program and gain acceptance to the joint program. Students are enrolled in the MD program full time for the first three years and in MPH course work full time during year 4. Then in year 5, students will do a semester in the MPH program and a semester of Medical School – students can choose to do either one in Fall and the other in Spring. The sample plans of study below provide details about the timing of MPH course work for those who are familiar with the Perelman School of Medicine curriculum. The MPH plan of study will be individualized for each student.

MD/MPH Degree Completion Time:                5 Years (with careful planning)

MD/MPH Sample Study Plan:

Sample 1: Begin PUBH courses Fall of 1st Year

Year

FALL

SPRING

SUMMER

1

MD curriculum
1 PUBH cu

MD curriculum
1 PUBH cu

PH fieldwork completed

2

MD curriculum
1 PUBH cu

MD curriculum

MD curriculum

3

MD curriculum

MD curriculum

MD curriculum

4

3 or 4 PUBH cus

3 or 4 PUBH cus

1 PUBH elective may be taken

5

residency interviewing
3 PUBH cus*

MD curriculum*
residency interviewing


Sample 2: Begin PUBH courses Fall of 4th Year

Year

FALL

SPRING

SUMMER

1

MD curriculum

MD curriculum

 

2

MD curriculum

MD curriculum

MD curriculum

3

MD curriculum

MD curriculum

MD curriculum

4

4 PUBH cus

4 PUBH cus

2 PUBH cus
PH fieldwork
completed

5

residency interviewing
3 PUBH cus*

MD curriculum*
residency interviewing


* These semesters are interchangeable. Students need to notify each School in the Spring of year 4, so they are billed correctly.

Medical School Planning:

There are several things to keep in mind when making your Medical School plans:

Financial Information (2013-14)

Tuition policy:

Tuition cost for the combined MD/MPH program is far less than the total tuition cost would be if the two degrees were earned separately over six consecutive years. In addition, funding is available, and the second degree may be obtained at little or no additional cost.

MD/MPH students will be charged 7 semesters of medical tuition (6 semesters in years 1-3 and the final semester of year 5). During fall and spring semesters of year 4 and the fall semester of year 5, MPH tuition will be charged per course unit.

Note that in the sample plans above, students can take up to three courses total during the semesters when they are charged medical school tuition. As long as the student has not already used the Additional Course Policy benefit that allows med students to take 3 additional courses while registered for the MD program, there will be no additional charge beyond MD tuition in those semesters. Please refer to the PSOM Additional Course Policy on the Student Portal website for information on tuition implications.

This fee schedule has been designed to benefit students who are pursuing the MD/MPH simultaneously. The tuition fee distributions and information about maximum Stafford loan eligibility are outlined in the following table:

Year

Tuition

Maximum Stafford Eligibility
(2013-14)

1

MD Tuition Fall & Spring

$40,500

2

MD Tuition Fall & Spring

$40,500

3

MD Tuition Fall & Spring

$40,500

4
MPH Tuition Fall, Spring & Summer $33,000
5

MPH Tuition Fall
MD Tuition Spring

Fall: $16,500
Spring: $20,250


Financial Aid:

As soon as a Perelman medical student is considering the pursuit of an integrated dual degree program, financial aid counseling and planning is strongly advised. Students should contact Jean Fox at the PSOM Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.  She is available to help explain program costs, the financial aid process, funding options and how to apply for financial aid. Here are some things to consider:

1. When paying medical school tuition and registered as a medical student, an individual can retain his/her Perelman School of Medicine Scholarship and has a Stafford eligibility of $40,500. When a student is registered as a full time MPH student, he/she is not eligible for a Perelman School of Medicine Scholarship and has a Stafford eligibility of $33,000. In accordance with federal regulations, all sources of aid (loan, scholarships, fellowships,) cannot exceed the student budget.

2. Stafford loans have aggregate limits, which are cumulative and include any undergraduate, graduate, and medical school loans borrowed in the Direct/Stafford loan program. For any semester when a student is a full-time MPH or a full-time MD student, the program aggregate limit is $224,000.

3. There are a number of private loan programs which are available for students in meeting program costs if necessary. These funds are credit based and more costly. The Perelman SOM Office of Admissions and Financial Aid lists preferred private loan lenders on its website. Students who anticipate applying for a private loan are encouraged to contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid to discuss options and determine the best program based on individual circumstances and prior borrowing.

Costs for each of the programs are updated annually on the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid website. Please note that policies concerning curriculum and financial aid are subject to change. Additionally, though variations in the curriculum may be possible, any changes will need prior approval and may have financial implications.

Scholarships:

The MPH Program has Penn Public Health Scholarships available on a competitive basis. The program will be offering several scholarships. Each scholarship will cover 2 - 10 cu’s of tuition. Applications for admission (including scholarships) are due by February 15th of the third year of medical school. Contact Dr. Rosemary Frasso (rofrasso@mail.med.upenn.edu) for more information.

The scholarship is designed to reduce the cost of the dual degree, so the average MD student would have minimal or no additional tuition costs to pursue the MD/MPH. This minimal or no additional tuition costs is demonstrated in the sample of funding benefits below, assuming an estimated cost of $5,000/course unit (cu), for a student who receives a 5 cu tuition scholarship:

Sample of Funding Benefits: 5 cu Public Health Scholarship
(estimated tuition cost of $5,000/cu; DOES NOT include fees or living expenses)

BENEFIT DESCRIPTION

CUs

APPROXIMATE FUNDING

FUNDING SOURCE

Additional Course Policy

3

$15,000

PSOM

MOD 320 in place of PUBH 505

1

$5,000

PSOM/MPH Program

Public Health Scholarship

5

$25,000

MPH Program

5 cus paid by student in lieu of 8th semester of MD tuition*

5

$25,000

Student

TOTAL

14

$70,000


* assuming student is not receiving a partial or full MD tuition scholarship

Admissions

The admissions process for the MD/MPH program is competitive. A Perelman medical student may apply to the MPH program during his/her first, second or third year. However, scholarships are only considered in the third year of medical school and are awarded to rising 4th year students.

There are two steps to applying:

1) Apply to the Master of Public Health Program

Submit the MD/MPH application to Dr. Rosemary Frasso. Students are encouraged to contact Dr. Frasso (rofrasso@mail.med.upenn.edu) for more information.

2) Submit Master's Program Registration Form to the Combined Degree Office

In addition to submitting an MD/MPH application, Perelman medical students must also submit a Master's Program Registration Form to Amy Nothelfer (nothelfe@mail.med.upenn.edu) in the Combined Degree and Physician Scholar Programs Office (104 Stemmler Hall).

Application Deadline:  February 15 of third year (for competitive funding); April 15 (for general applications)

Disclaimer

Please note that policies concerning admissions, curriculum, funding and financial aid are subject to change. Additionally, though variations in the curriculum may be possible, any changes will need prior approval and may have financial implications. This website is meant to provide preliminary general overview information only. Students interested in or enrolled in the program should seek personal advising from relevant faculty and staff.

Contacts

For more information about the MD/MPH program, contact:

Rosemary Frasso, PhD, MSc, CPH
Director of Education, MPH Program
(215) 746-8554
(215) 573-9025 fax
rofrasso@mail.med.upenn.edu

Giang Nguyen, MD, MPH
Chair, MD/MPH Advisory Committee
Assistant Professor , Perelman School of Medicine,
Dept of Family Medicine and Community Health
giang.nguyen@uphs.upenn.edu

Amy Nothelfer, MSW, LSW
Coordinator, Elective Research and Combined Degree Programs
Combined Degree and Physician Scholar Programs Office
Suite 100 Annex (Room 104) Stemmler Hall
Philadelphia , PA 19104-6087
(215) 746-2359
nothelfe@mail.med.upenn.edu

Helene Weinberg
Registrar
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Suite 100 Stemmler Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6087
(215) 898-4646
hweinber@mail.med.upenn.edu

Jean Fox
Financial Aid Officer
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
Suite 100 Stemmler Hall
Philadelphia , PA 19104-6056
(215) 898-9118
jmfox@mail.med.upenn.edu